I watched the SEMO contest and I have my early-season gut feelings in place.
I also received my Sports illustrated preview issue ranking us #3! (gasp).
In summary, I think Ellis looks great and McLemore looks pretty good. Withey is solid, but I don't think he's the dominant force that the SI article made him out to be.
Where this team is challenged is at the point. Ellijah Johnson is not only not a natural point, he's not a "Bill Self" combo 1-2 point either, yet... How do you foul out against SEMO? This is what is going to prevent us from being an elite team or propel us forward. The offense doesn't flow well... again yet. Could be Johnson, or could be early season mischemistry.
They say (or at least homer Dave on the TV says) that Nadir Tharpe had a great offseason shooting the ball from outside. Maybe he can raise his game and supplant Johnson and return him to the more natural combo 2/defender position he's perhaps better suited for. (The "Russ Rob/glue guy").
i think the SI at #3 is a little ridiculous at this point and maybe is a nod to last year's team. This team has a Sweet Sixteen type feel to me. If our backcourt play improves and we get a soft draw, maybe we can pull Elite 8.
I say this every year, but I do think this is the year that the conference title streak comes to an end. Then again, Bill Self seems to prove me wrong on that. It's always amazing how bad our teams look sometimes in early season and then he gets us to gel by season's end.
As for tonight, it's in Atlanta i guess, which really means nothing for either team. I think our backcourt woes cause us problems and we go down by ten, which gives Self the usual "You're not as awesome as you thought you were" speech to motivate us in practice for the next month.